With its Art Deco type front and the word mystery liberally splattered across the jacket, I expected this to be a rival to the Poirot series. In that respect, I was mightily disappointed - the mystery (such as it is) is only evident at the beginning and the end of the book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the middle portion, with its vivid detail and descriptions of Maisie's early years. Particularly evocative were the passages on the Great War and its long lasting effects on those who returned. A slight annoyance was the cockernee chirpiness of some of the characters, who were a bet to Dick Van Dyke-ish for me. However, that alone would not put me off buying the next in the series.